Agriculture: The SXM Green Soldiers on a crusade for local and vertical agriculture


"Cultivate local, cultivate vertical". This is the slogan of SXM Green Soldiers, the company that Rémy Gester and Nicolas Esparon are creating.

The two partners have planned to produce 1000 salads per week by January, in hydroponics, a horticultural technique that allows for an above-ground cultivation.

Their system, imported from the United States and exhibited at Howell Center since the beginning of August, consists of towers formed by a superposition of food-grade plastic bins, irrigated from above on the principle of vertical runoff. The plants, mainly herbs, salads and Chinese cabbage, are rooted in a substrate composed of 80% coconut fibers and 20% perlite (siliceous sand of volcanic origin). “We water the plants three times a day for five minutes with a solution made from mineral nutrients, diluted in water (300mL per 1000 liters). This tower system allows us to consume 80% less water than traditional farming ”explains Rémy Gester.

Ultimately, to be completely autonomous, they would like to install solar panels to power the pumps. And ideally, manage to use seawater, as suggested by Sébastien Meygret, who won the innovation competition of Initiatives Saint-Martin Active for his conch cultured pearl project.

Beyond their production, and the sale of their system to individuals and professionals, the SXM Green Soldiers seek to create a movement by showing that it is possible to cultivate at home without using too much water, and on a small landless space like a balcony. They would also like to unite local initiatives that go in the same direction, while being aware that "there will never be enough producers to feed all of Saint Martin". If they want to develop local agriculture and, a Once their 100 towers pilot project has proven its worth, installing one in each district, they are not at war with mass retailers. “After Irma, without mass distribution, we would all be dead. Here, without it, we don't eat, ”admits Rémy Gester.

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